PhD Defence: Ron van Schie


In his dissertation ‘Planning for retirement: Save more or retire later?’ ERIM’s Ron van Schie addresses the (psychological) processes underlying individuals’ tendencies to plan for retirement by exploring individuals’ drivers to consider two important strategies in planning for an adequate retirement: Save more or retire later.

Ron defended his dissertation in the Senate Hall at Erasmus University Rotterdam on Thurday, 28 September 2017 at 11:30. His supervisors were Prof. Benedict Dellaert and Prof. Bas Donkers. Other members of the Doctoral Committee are Dr Lisa Brüggen (Maastricht University), Prof. Arvid Hoffmann (Adelaide Business School) and Prof. Onno Steenbeek (Erasmus University).

About Ron van Schie

Ron van Schie (Nootdorp, March 12th, 1984) obtained his Master’s degree in Economics in 2007 from the Erasmus University Rotterdam. In January 2008 he started as a PhD candidate in the department of marketing at the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE). He presented his work at several conferences (Netspar Pension Day, theme conferences and working groups). His work has been published in the Journal of Economic Psychology and appeared in the Netspar Discussion series. Since 2012 he is working as a statistical researcher at Statistics Netherlands, where he manages several (international) projects related to price and real estate statistics.

Thesis Abstract

In many developed countries collective pension plans are under pressure. As a consequence, individuals face a shift in responsibility for retirement planning from a collective level towards the individuals themselves. The increased importance of individual retirement planning calls for more research that addresses the (psychological) processes underlying individuals’ tendencies to plan for retirement. In this dissertation we do so by exploring individuals’ drivers to consider two important strategies in planning for an adequate retirement: Save more or retire later. In the first essay we combine insights from research in economics and psychology to investigate what drives individuals to consider additional savings contributions. In particular, a conceptual model is developed to explain the role of uncertainty regarding one’s savings adequacy therein. In the second essay we study individuals’ planned retirement age, and explore age-related differences in representing this decision (in terms of which goal is primary to the decision) and the resulting differential impact of a construal level intervention on individuals’ planned retirement age for different age groups. In the last essay we take into account both strategies simultaneously and explore the interrelation among individuals’ intentions to consider additional savings and when to retire. Our findings also have practical implications as they provide more insight in individual differences in retirement planning and give directions for practitioners to customize their pension communications accordingly. 

Photos: Chris Gorzeman / Capital Images